Our Approach
Balancing Needs

Wagner Foundation seeks to balance immediate and long-term needs, the community and the individual. We look closely at how communities and individuals are connected to each other and society. Sometimes this means we work by organizing small groups around common goals. Other times, we encourage large organizations to work holistically.

Understanding the Challenges
Lasting, systemic change often requires addressing multiple societal obstacles at once. We seek to identify, acknowledge, and work within multiple problem domains to meet visible and invisible challenges that prevent social equity.

Working Within Systems
Our systemic thinking emphasizes bringing people together. As we better understand the obstacles – both seen and invisible – that divide people, we can overcome or remove them by working together. Complex problems are best confronted from multiple perspectives. Every community is unique, so special insights and individual talents can be part of a concerted effort benefiting all.

Balance Over Time
Confronting a crisis in health or economic development may require immediate action, but complete recovery takes time. Culture, institutional practices, education, and even policy often advance slowly, but their progress is essential to reaching lasting solutions.

Unfortunately, a long-term perspective is rare because it depends on sustained, coordinated efforts. Looking beyond immediate problems in the short term, anticipating a thriving community aims to produce individuals better situated to realize their full potential in the long term. Such a community naturally encourages talented, creative people to guide everyone to better ideas and cultural transformation.

Addressing Systems Change

Challenging the Conditions that Hold the Problem in Place - The Wagner Foundation believes that systems change requires that we understand and address all six components that define systems.
Informed by the research done by John Kania, Mark Kramer & Peter Senge in their recent article The Water of Systems Change, May 2018.